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DTS Deepavali Celebration 2019

December 04,2019  IST

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The annual Deepavali function organised by the Dunedin Tamil Society was held on Saturday, the 16th of November at the Union Hall, University of Otago and the event was attended by over 120 people, with guests from as far as Christchurch and Kurow. 

Guests of honour were Hon Clare Curran, MP Dunedin South and Dr Benjamin Schonthal, associate Professor of Buddhism/Asian Religions, both of whom delivered heartfelt speeches. It must be noted that Dr Schonthal, who is a scholar of the Tamil language and, can read and write in Tamil, delivered his chief guest's speech in Tamil which was well-received by the audience. 

We had several great performances, covering music and dance as well as a debate. The variety spectrum was broad, with solo and group performances by participants of all age groups from 3 to 50 years! We also had a fun game organised to engage the audience. 

The event was brought to an elegant close with a sumptuous dinner (South Indian cuisine). The dinner was prepared by volunteers and committee members, and was a success once again. The main chefs arrived from Christchurch to assist with the meal preparation, which included a selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. 

It's safe to say that the event was a successful one, when asked to comment, the event coordinator and Vice-President Dr Niv Kamal said that the committee started planning for the event months ago, and required the time and assistance from multiple volunteers both within the committee and non-committee. Niv says the majority of the DTS community are full-time employed or are studying, yet contributed their time and energy to make this event happen. 

'An event such as this is not possible without such commitment from DTS members'. Thanks to our main sponsor, Otago Community Trust, and our co-sponsors, Mike Pero, PaknSave, George Cars, Gravity Events, Crest Clean, Look Sharp Store and Southern City Taxis and our media partners, Indian Newslink and Dinamalar, for helping us organise the event with such grandeur. The amount of fun everybody had during this Deepavali celebration was incredible, and it was immensely rewarding to see all the happy faces.  It is these smiles that motivate us to keep doing well, keep getting better at what we do and continue organising many more such events for our people.

 It is simply amazing to see how DTS that started as Dunedin Tamil Friends has grown this big today, and I am sure our community will continue to grow, transform and gather more and more strength in the coming years. Our only goal, objective and passion is to make our people feel at home away from home. 

- Our NRI Reporter Chandra Sankaran

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